Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Aug 2010

14 man league draft strategy

QB,2RB,2WR,1Flex(RB/WR),TE,K,Def Standard Rules, .5pt per rec.

How should I attack this draft? Never been in a league this big. Was thinking go QB,RB,WR,TE in some order and try to get the best I can at each position to start off. I don't know what slot I'll be picking from. In my 10 man leagues, I load up on RB & WR before taking a QB or TE. It seems as though my strategy should be different for this. Your thoughts?

Posted by: bingo762 on 25 Aug 2010

6 replies , Last at 27 Aug 2010, 11:16am by Fontes of Wayne

Re: 14 man league draft strategy
by JuridianSantaal... :: Wed, 08/25/2010 - 12:19pm

Get a QB in rounds 1-2 or wait until the 5th. In my 14 man league, the top 7 QBs all went before the end of the second round. Granted I know we're a bit early, but if you don't think you can get someone at value (I got Manning at 12), just wait it out.

Tight Ends, there's a lot of good TEs this year. The 5th/6th round will net you a pretty good TE, but much later will probably result in you either praying for Zach Miller or waiting it out until you wind up with a John Carlson / Fred Davis type.

Re: 14 man league draft strategy
by Dan :: Wed, 08/25/2010 - 12:42pm

I do the opposite. In small leagues (8-10 teams) I try to get my QB & TE early since I know I can still get good RB & WR late - when everyone's lineup is so strong at RB and WR, it's worth trying to get an advantage at QB & TE. In bigger leagues (12-14 teams) I tend to go more RB & WR heavy early, since there won't be much left later on at those positions, and there's enough depth at QB & TE so that you can get a decent one even if you're one of the last teams to take one.

In your league I'd focus on RBs early, since you can start 3 and with only .5 ppr you probably want to. I'd want to use around 4 of my first 6 or 7 picks on RB, including 2 of the first 3, with a couple WRs mixed in and maybe a QB or a TE if there was great value. Then I'd take care of my other positions and get good WR depth (so I could flex a RB if 3 of the 4 panned out, and flex a WR if they didn't).

Re: 14 man league draft strategy
by socctty :: Wed, 08/25/2010 - 6:46pm

I respectfully disgree with the last paragraph. With 3 potential WRs starting and getting .5 PPR, the baseline (min starting WR) is going to be really low - meaning that the upper tier WRs are going to be even more valuable. That is, there will be 14x3 possible WRs. I'd be extremely tempted to go WR/WR in Rd1/Rd2 in order to grab guys like Andre Johnson and Roddy White, unless you got a shot at Ray Rice or someone like that in the 1st. I play in a 1PPR, 10 person league and WRs are in high demand.

Re: 14 man league draft strategy
by Dan :: Wed, 08/25/2010 - 7:37pm

There will be 70 starting RB/WRs in this league, including the flex. Last year with .5 ppr, 38 of the top 70 RB/WRs in total scoring were RBs and only 32 were WRs (Mike Wallace and Julius Jones were the last of each). The top 60 RB/WRs (since you're trying to get players that are better than the last starter) split 34 RBs to 26 WRs. That means you should be looking to flex a RB. Standard 12-team leagues which have 24 starting RBs and 36 starting WRs, yours should have about 38 RBs and 32 WRs, which means you should be more focused on RBs and less on WRs.

There's a surprisingly big difference between 1 PPR and .5 PPR. With 1 PPR, WRs made up 35 of the top 70 RB/WRs last year, and 31 of the top 60. With 1 PPR, it makes sense to go WR heavy and to flex a WR. But with .5 PPR, the playing field is tilted more towards RBs. Going with 1 PPR instead of .5 PPR gives a typical good WR (who might catch 70-some passes) an additional 20 points or so relative to a good RB (who might catch 30-some passes), and at the top (when you're looking at a 100 reception receiver like Andre Johnson) the difference between 1 and .5 PPR is even bigger.

Re: 14 man league draft strategy
by socctty :: Wed, 08/25/2010 - 7:43pm

Fair points. I think there are a lot more injuries and turnover on depth charts with RBs throughout the course of the year, so the guys you'd be flexing as RBs would be less reliable. That's more of a hunch, though. I should have taken into consideration how different his league is from ours.

Re: 14 man league draft strategy
by Fontes of Wayne :: Fri, 08/27/2010 - 11:16am

I've played in this setup (minus the PPR) for two years, and while I think grabbing a QB in the first two rounds is a stretch, I will agree that you have to try and get one early. I've waited both years. I got a bit fortunate to get Cutler two years ago, so I didn't change up the strategy, and wound up with Campbell last year.
My major problem was not adjusting to my league's habits. Despite having only four bench spots, 10 teams drafted a second QB both years, and this really bit me in the butt last year, when guys who already had the likes of Brady and Rodgers were grabbing Flacco and Favre right before I could get them. If your league really doesn't care about backup QBs, you can wait longer, but you can probably assume that's not the case.

Other than that, I would agree with Dan's advice - try to grab that early QB, but beyond that, stick with RB and WR.

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